Customer Retention Is How Businesses Grow- 5 Ways to Improve Yours
The race to meet expectations, this is the daily dream of the business owner. Lead generation is the buzz word, and it will always be. But what about that which happens after your business is set up? Do you keep looking for new leads every day? Isn’t that a bit too much of a hassle? What we have learnt from being in business for the most part of this decade is that businesses need to find ways to keep current customers happy and coming back. It really does make a difference to your bottom line when you have loyal customers. The pressure on lead generation eases up, you can concentrate on making your product better, streamlining your key processes, the list is endless!
Customer retention in the age of the fast and the furious
Businesses are mushrooming at a fast rate and competition is fierce. If you think you have a genuine and unique idea, the chances of it not being so are far higher today than it was before the internet. People are looking for solutions and business owners are giving it to them. The want based economy has been replaced by the need based economy. To survive here, you need to have your wits about you, dig deep and think smart. The smartest thing you can do is prioritize customers who are already in the pipeline. These folks know you, trust you with their money and are the best brand advocates you could possibly ask for.
This is the truth and it can wreck your business as quickly too. The cost of lead generation today is astronomical with high chances of returning negative results too. For you to make sure you keep your business running, a solid customer retention program is a must. It is a combination of experience, man power and a never ending process of refining and redefining.
5 ways to improve your customer retention percentage
There are specific reasons why your customer is doing business with you. It will do you well to find that out. It is your trump card and can be used to convince another prospect. For this, you need to be in tune with your customers. Here are 5 things you can do to ensure that you keep your customers happy.
- Make your employees understand its importance
Your employees are the first line of communication between your business and your customers. Your sales and support team is the vital element of this process. A smart and vibrant team is half your work done. They need to understand that a happy customer is easier to handle, makes good sense in the long run and gives you more business than a new customer. They need to be keyed into the needs of your customers and should find innovative ways to handle issues and sort them out. Time is precious, the faster they are at responding and resolving, the happier are your customers.
No business is without faults. We need to accept that and provide solutions that work. This should be the motto of your support team. It is important to note that many other departments are responsible and part of the customer retention process including the support team. Everyone should get with the program. Only then will the end result be positive. It has been seen that most other departments tend to put these issues on the back burner. This can prove fatal to the process. Prioritizing is important here.
Know why your customers want to buy from you. Listen, understand and react. This is important because if you don’t know why customers like you, you don’t know what to tell your new prospects. Surveys and calls are important parts of this process. You can get a wealth of information on what you are doing right and also, more importantly, what you can improve upon. This can be exceptionally beneficial to your product development and marketing teams. Adapt and improve, or else the competition will sweep in.
- Offer them MORE
They are your loyal customers for a reason, so we don’t see any reason not to treat them better. Loyalty programs are popular today. Give them the extra bit of discount that eases the purchase. Offers can be designed to pull in more business. It can help keep the cash registers ringing. A great ‘valued customer’ offer is a hook to net in new customers too. It brings out the importance you have for customers conducting business with you.
- Customer is not always right
This crazy concept has destroyed many a budding business and sales support executive. It is intrinsically immoral to think this way. No one is right all the time! We understand that customer is king but that doesn’t mean you bow down to unreasonable demands and sky high expectations. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is wise to remember, your business and your employees are as important as your customer, if not more. Draw the line as to where the buck stops. Satiating an unreasonable client can do more harm than good, in the long run. Learn to say NO.
- Build your customer base
It takes time and effort, but the results are well worth it all. Brand advocates are the best source of marketing. Word of mouth is the number one marketing tool and getting someone to talk good about your business needs you to deliver top notch customer satisfaction. Once you have the goodwill of a customer, the chances of them bringing in new customers are always high. Peer based recommendations are extremely valuable today, especially in the digital market.
Customer retention should be a policy in your business. Dedicate staff to key accounts to ensure that everything happens smoothly. Make the payments process easier for renewals. Have the delivery team fast track repeat orders. There are many things that you can do to placate your loyal customers. This is the best possible way to ensure that your business is running smoothly.